Corporations v Democracy Issue Committee
The Corporations v. Democracy Issue Committee is dedicated to understanding how corporations use their illegitimate constitutional "rights" and powers to define our law, politics, jurisprudence, work, technologies, food, communities... you name it! We do this by learning and helping others to learn how we got into this mess through the discovery and study of hidden histories. At the same time, we rethink WILPF activism in the context of our right to self governance and the meaning of real (radical) democracy, including the skills required to put it into practice.
- December 2010: View video promoting banking at independent banks and credit unions
- December 2010: View and download "Bank Where Your Heart Is" brochure (pdf)
Single Payer is coming....
by Mary Zepernick
As songwriter Leonard Cohen sings in his ironic rumbling voice, "Democracy is coming, to the U.S.A.!."
Indeed, people from California to Maine and in between, weary of waiting for gifts bestowed from on high, are increasingly claiming their right to make decisions about what does and does not go on in their communities - from stopping harms to creating new institutions. And what these activists, many of them speaking up and stepping out for the first time, are most dramatically encountering is the power of government and corporate complicity - giving rich political meaning to the term codependency.
Jim and Tomi Allison, WILPF Corporations v. Democracy Committee
Last fall Detroit auto executives flew into Washington to predict the imminent demise of the American auto industry absent an immediate bailout at taxpayer expense. Congress and the White House swiftly obliged, with many billions of dollars in loans, and more to come. All of that went to the producers, and nary a penny to those who would actually buy cars if only they were affordable. The same economy that had trashed Detroit had also trashed them.
Corporate Power Causes Collapse of US Financial System
This is the final discussion session in this study packet. During this session, the group will need to attend to some logistical business in addition to its regular discussion time.
The democratic founding ideals of the American Revolution were soon subordinated to the fears of white propertied men who had the power to take charge and write the Constitution. These men believed that genuine people’s rule (what Alexander Hamilton called “the mob at the gate”) would undermine the order and stability on which they believed the future of the republic rested. Many people are surprised to learn that the word “democracy” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution of the United States of America.
“If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessities of life. If we would not submit to an emperor, we should not submit to an autocrat of trade.”
– from Robert La Follette’s 1911 autobiography
“I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps.... And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.... I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914.
The changes in the United States throughout the 19th century were profound and rapid, picking up speed as the decades passed. The industrial revolution changed the nature and pace of both urban and rural livelihoods, and a predominantly independent workforce was converted to a majority of wage earners working for someone else. Capitalism came to dominate the economic system, bringing periodic depressions. Immigrants flooded into the country, creating a complex and constantly shifting hierarchical order that affe
If we want to take away the disproportionate power held by those who own property and wealth and shift it toward people and their governments, it is necessary to know more about the head start that property rights had over people’s rights in this country’s formative years.
The design of the federal government relied heavily on the principle of self-interest narrowly seen as the right for a citizen (at that time elite, white males only) to acquire property and have
Since the late 19th century, protection of the U.S environment, workers, consumers, and communities has been in the hands of regulatory agencies and the laws that established them — Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) — to name a few. When our news is filled with stories of defective Firestone tires and gene